Friday, August 31, 2007

In Remembrance - Princess Diana

Today marks 10 years ago that Princess Diana was killed in a car accident in Paris with Dodi Fayed and Henri Paul. The past few weeks have seen a flurry of Diana related programs, including the rebroadcast of the Martin Bashir interview (which I had to watch for work), and several Princess Diana movies, incuding one really bad one on Lifetime.

My first ever trip to London was the summer that Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles and I have been fascinated with her ever since. She was only 2 1/2 years older than me, and I had a hard time wrapping my mind around someone that young taking on the responsibility of being married and becoming a member of the Royal Family. After all, my most pressing concern that summer at 16 was the crush that I had on one our tour guides, Malcolm (who looked like a Jewish Paul Macartney), listening to Duran Duran, touring England and Scotland, and trying to decide what colleges I wanted to apply too.

I watched the Royal Wedding on the telly at the home of a friend, waving my British flag in solidarity. The next day when we arrived in Edinburgh, stores already had a copy of her wedding dress in the window! I brought piles of books on the Royal Wedding and Charles and Diana.

Three years later, I was doing my semester abroad my junior year of college. No sooner had I arrived in London, then Princess Diana gave birth to Prince Harry. I skipped class one day to go to the State Opening of Parliament where I managed to get a front row viewing spot to see her arrive in one of the coaches with her hair pinned up with a tiara.

Back in the States, I still kept up with my royal watching. I eagerly bought Andrew Morton's book, although by that time, although I was still a fan, I knew that the truth of their marriage lay somewhere between He Said/She Said. I went round to Christies to see the dresses that she was auctioning off for Charity.

That final summer that she was alive, I was again in London studying acting at the Royal National Theater studio. The tabloids were full of her vacations with Dodi Fayed. I'd already had another royal encounter when Princess Margaret was sitting two rows in front of me at the Royal National, and I'd passed her by on my way out of the theater while she was waiting for her car.

I had the impression that the whole Dodi thing was just a summer fling, something to pass the time while her sons were away with her father. Who hasn't found themselves involved in a relationship they might not ordinarily have considered out of sheer loneliness? I flew back to the States the week before she was killed.

I remember vividly sitting up in bed watching Saturday Night Live with ex-sweetie pie when the news hit, and how annoyed he was with me when I switched over to CNN. It was hard for me to believe that she was dead, and that her death could have been prevented so easily (she wasn't wearing a seat belt, she didn't listen to the security concerns of the Fayed security team, she and Dodi could easily have stayed at the hotel all night).

I watched the funeral at my apartment (it started at 5 a.m. NY time and I knew that ex-sweetie pie was nto going to watch it with me). Looking at the Princes walking behind their mother's coffin, along with Prince Charles and Prince Phillip and Earl Spencer is an image that will always stay with me with.

Her image and her life still continues to fascinate people even now 10 years after her death. Magazines still sell thousands of copies if her picture is on the cover. What is it about her that still fascinates people? I think it's her vulnerability, her very humaness, her kindness and her compassion. Even though she was a princess, she still somehow seemed at once both like us, and unlike us. Not even being a princess can keep you from suffering and being bulimic.

I don't believe that there was a conspiracy to kill her to get her out of the way so that Charles could marry Camilla. There are too many variables that contradict that theory (for one, who knew that Henri Paul would have been so drunk?).

My hope is that she's finally at peace, and that she's proud of the men that her son's have become.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 30, 2007

What Your Name Means

What Your Name Means

You entered: Elizabeth Kerri Mahon

There are 19 letters in your name.Those 19 letters total to 101There are 8 vowels and 11 consonants in your name.

What your first name means:

Shakespearean Female 'King Richard III' Elizabeth, Queen to King Edward IV.
Hebrew Female My God is bountiful;God of plenty. Elizabeth was mother of John the Baptist in the bible.

In England Queen Elizabeth I and II. One of the most frequently used names in England.

Greek Female From the Hebrew Elisheba, meaning either oath of God, or God is satisfaction. Famous bearer: Old Testament Elizabeth was mother of John the Baptist and one of the earliest known bearers of this name; Queen Elizabeth II.

English Female My God is bountiful;God of plenty. Elizabeth was mother of John the Baptist in the bible. In England Queen Elizabeth I and II. One of the most frequently used names in England.

Biblical Female The oath or fullness of God
Arthurian Legend Female Sister of Mark.

Your number is: 2

The characteristics of #2 are: Cooperation, adaptability, consideration of others, partnering, mediating.

The expression or destiny for #2:

A number 2 Expression gives you the tools to work very well with other people. Your destiny is in the role of the mediator and the peacemaker. In many ways you are dependent on others and seem to function best in a partnership or in some form of group activity. Modesty runs deep in your nature, and you can work comfortably without recognition of your accomplishments. Often, others get credit for your ideas, and this is of little real concern to your since you are such a willing team player. As you grow in this direction, you become sensitive to the feelings of others, you are ever diplomatic in handling complicated situations. Cooperative, courteous, and considerate, you have the capacity to become an outstanding facilitator. You know how to organize and handle people. You are a good detail person because you rarely overlook anything. Tactful and friendly, nearly everyone likes you.

The negative 2 personality can be over-sensitive and easily hurt. Too much of this number in your makeup can make you very shy and uncertain. Sometimes the excessive 2 energies makes one apathetic and somewhat indifferent to the job at hand; the ability to handle details is hampered in these cases.

Your Soul Urge number is: 5

A Soul Urge number of 5 means:

The 5 soul urge or motivation would like to follow a life of freedom, excitement, adventure and unexpected happening. The idea of travel and freedom to roam intrigues you. You are very much the adventurer at heart. Not particularly concerned about your future or about getting ahead, you can seem superficial and unmotivated.

In a positive sense, the energies of the number 5 make you very adaptable and versatile. You have a natural resourcefulness and enthusiasm that may mark you as a progressive with a good mind and active imagination. You seem to have a natural inclination to be a pace-setter. You are attracted to the unusual and the fast paced.

You may be overly restless and impatient at times. You may dislike the routine work that you are engaged in, and tend to jump from activity to activity, without ever finishing anything. You may have difficulty with responsibility. You don't want to be tied down to a relationship, and it may be hard to commit to one person.

Your Inner Dream number is: 6

An Inner Dream number of 6 means:

You dream of guiding and fostering the perfect family in the perfect home. You crave the devotion from offspring and a loving spouse. You picture yourself in the center of a successful domestic unit.

Well, I hate to say it but this is pretty accurate, particularly the impatience part. My theme song could be Queen's "I Want It All, and I want it Now" Although not the part about being restless, and not being able to commit to one person. I was in a committed relationship for over 8 years, and it certainly didn't end because I couldn't commit further.

You can try it for your self here

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Welcome Maya Rodale!

The Lady Novelist is happy to welcome RWA NYC member Maya Rodale, whose first book The Heir and the Spare just came out this month from Berkeley Books.

The Heir and the Spare
All of London is raving about the newly arrived American, Emilia Highhart. She has beauty, charm, wit, and a hint of the exotic.

Unfortunately, grace is decidedly not one of her virtues. Staircases, doors, even floors have proven her enemies, often leaving Emilia prostrate and mortified in a pile of muslin. Nevertheless, at her first ball, her dance card soon fills with the names of highly suitable men. But Emilia’s eyes are on just one man—the one her aunt points out as the entirely unsuitable Lord Phillip…

In fact, he isn’t Lord Phillip. While Phillip, the heir, goes about spending the good family’s funds, his identical twin, Devon, the spare, must attend society functions as Lord Phillip—all because of a few blasted minutes’ age difference. Soon, both twins are vying for Emilia. And, under the not-so-watchful eye of Lady Palmerston, aunt and chaperone to the young lady, Emilia is unknowingly courted by two different men with the same face! But only one of them is the love of her life…

What made you choose romance?

I chose romance because I love the stories, and because I love the community around it. Plus, writing romance novels always makes for good cocktail party conversation.

The Heir and the Spare is set during the Regency. How did you become interested in this time period?

Regency set historicals were among the first romance novels I read, based on book recommendations from my mom. I read them exclusively for my first year of romance novel reading.

What you do love about the Regency period?

I love the corsets, carriages, candlelight…but these are not particular to the Regency. What I love about that era, as opposed to other historical time periods or locations is the role society plays in the novels—the parties, the rules, and that particular regency tone and wit. I also believe that the popularity of this era is due to the fashion at the time—especially compared to say, medieval dress. Plus, I find the aristocracy fascinating, and that is such a huge part of Regencies.

What do you like least about the Regency?

The necessary suspension of disbelief regarding female shaving practices (no leg shaving or underarm shaving!).

Anything that constrained you or that you had to plot carefully around?

One of things I love about the Regency era is the rules of society that are like built in obstacles for the hero and heroine. For example, it was highly improper for a man and young woman to be alone together, and yet such moments are key to romance and falling in love. Thus, my Negligent Chaperone, Lady Palmerston, was born.

Rather than constraints, I see such things as challenges for my imagination. For me, that is all part of the fun of writing.

What sparked this book? Was it a character? An historical event? A scene you just couldn’t get out of your head?

It all started with an idea I had for one scene: A young lady is getting ready for bed one evening when a very handsome man bursts unexpectedly into her room. She thinks confuses him for her betrothed, who is the man’s identical twin. I thought the novel would begin with this scene. And then I thought it would be in the middle and then…basically, what remained from that initial idea was twin brothers and a very confused heroine.

As for what made me actually sit down and write the book: An agent I had previously worked with said that I needed to be writing romance novels now. She said that she would have a look at something I wrote, and consider taking on the project. I told her I would have something for her in three months. I went home that afternoon and started writing…and didn’t stop until the novel was done three months later.

Did you have to do any major research for his book? Did you stumble across anything really interesting that you didn’t already know?

I did a bit of research in the beginning...but I ought to have done more, as one amazon reviewer pointed out— I forget about the war of 1812 and the impossibility of making a fortune in shipping in America during a blockade. Whoops!

Usually, however, I find myself often looking up the same things: forms of address and what would be removed first-a corset or a chemise.

From history classes about that time period, I’ve realized that the world presented in historical romance novels is quite different than what actually was. I doubt any readers want certain things portrayed accurately…the men, particularly the aristocratic ones, were generally not as progressive as they are in romance novels, and it is very unlikely that real women of the era could get away with half of what romantic heroines do. That, and the drafty old houses, chamber pots, and horse manure piling up on the streets are things that I think are best left un-mentioned.

What made you decide to make your heroine American?

In order to be truly confused about the twins, and as open minded as she is about them, she needed to be foreign to England. As for being American, they say to write what you know, so that’s what I did.

Your hero is an identical twin. What made you decide to write about twins? Was that a conscious decision? And what did you find out was one of the problems about writing about twins?

The identical twins came out of the original scene that sparked the novel. I’ve said before that one shouldn’t write a twin novel as their first because it’s hard! The biggest challenge was having the heroine confused, but having the reader enlightened. Maintaining that often determined which POV a scene would be written in.

But identical twins provide a great opportunity to write about learning to see the person underneath external appearances. As one person remarked, one could say the same of all romances. It’s just more obvious with identical twins.

What/Who do you like to read?

For historicals, I love Loretta Chase, Eloisa James and Julia Quinn, among lots of others.
For contemporary set Romances, I love Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Jennifer Crusie. When I’m not reading romance, I read non-fiction. My current favorite non-fiction topics are economics and neuroscience. Go figure.

Care to share a bit about your writing process? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you write multiple drafts or clean up as you go?

d) all of the above!

I do what I call “pre-production”, and that involves some research, writing character descriptions and histories, as well as sitting around “wool gathering” about the story. By the time I sit down to write, I have a pretty good idea of the novel I’m going to create.

Generally, my writing process is the same as if I am traveling somewhere new. I write down the address of my destination. I look at the map. I print directions. And then I leave all of that at home, accidentally, and then I wing it once I am on the road. So basically, I know where I am going with a novel, and have a general idea of how I am going to get there, but I am open to detours, getting lost, etc, just so long as I get there on time.

And, golly, I wish I “cleaned up” as I went along, especially when I print out 300+ pages and then have to revise them all at once. But I don’t because I get too excited cranking out that initial draft to stop and look over it.

What are you planning to work on next?

I’m finishing up the second Negligent Chaperone book, tentatively titled Love Among The Ruined, in which the “bad” twin, Phillip Kensington, from The Heir And The Spare is the hero.

A Rake in an abbey falling in love with a woman he can’t have…A lusty nun who despises him…

There was a recent article called "Harm in reading romance novels." Do you think romance novels harm or empower women?

I firmly and truly believe that romance novels are empowering to women and to men. Frankly, I can’t think of anything more beneficial to humanity as a whole than romance novels.

I literally wrote the book (or a book) on why romance novels are not only not harmful, but empowering, inspiring, promising, and good. The book, It’s My Pleasure, co-written with my mother, examined women, religion, literature and history and found why romance novels are considered bad, and they absolutely are not.

Having said all of that—I have yet to meet someone who reads romance novels and has a poor opinion of them. When I encounter people who do disdain romance novels, I feel sorry for them and think that they clearly need more romance novels in their lives. Heck, maybe they are simply jealous of the rest of us romance readers and our lack of shame about our own pleasure.

Thank you, Maya for stopping by!

Coming up an interview with Cerridwen Press author Patt Milhailoff!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Are you a Good Girl or a Bad Girl?

You Are a Normal Girl

You are 50% Good and 50% Bad
Sure you've pulled some bad girl stunts in your past.
But these days, you're (mostly) a good girl.

Book recommendation: Rejection, Romance, & Royalties

I just finished Laura Resnick's book Rejection, Romance and Royalties, and I can't recommend it enough. It should be on every writer's bookshelf, irrespective of what genre you write, along with Stephen King's book On Writing and any book by Carolyn See and Anne LaMott.
Laura reveals the gritty truth on what it's really like to be working writer, and it ain't all hearts and flowers. She deals with the years when she had a hard time selling, the frustrations of dealing with a new editor after being orphaned, how hard it can be to get those checks from your publisher, even with an agent.
But she also talks about the joy and satisfaction she gets from being a writer, not to mention the perks that can sometimes come your way (I so want to be invited to that sci-fi/fantasy conferene in Nantes!)
Off topic: I was squealing like a fan girl when I saw that the great Carole Nelson Douglas left me a comment on my blog after my post on POV. I have loved CND ever since I read my first Irene Adler novel.
The historical detail of late 19th century Europe of the books, not to mention the she has fleshed out a minor character from the Holmes canon into a living, breathing human capable of taking center stage is amazing. Anyone looking for a mystery novel set in fin de siecle Paris should pick up her Irene Adler novels.
I should clarify further on my post on POV. I'm not averse to novels that have third and first person POV. My first YA is partially narrated in first person POV but it's very limited. 3/4 of the book is in third person. I think if the first person narrator in Interpretation of Murder had been a more dynamic character, it might have made a difference. Still, I found it jarring when the author later narrated a scene from Stanton Younger in the third person, after having him narrate for most of the book.
Thanks for reading,

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Hell Hath No Fury.....

I'm sure we all know the rest of the quote. I thought I had seen everything or heard everything about what women have done to men who dumped them or hurt them, until I watched MI-5 this morning, when Vicki Westbrook to get back at Tom Quinn (played by the wonderful Matthew MacFadyen who played Darcy in last year's Pride & Prejudice) had cards made up that intimated he was some kind of escort and then plastered them all over London in phone booth's and sex shops.

Wow, that was one pissed off woman. Unfortunately for her, she attempted to get back at the wrong guy. Her actions interfered with an MI-5/CIA operation dealing with President Bush's visit to the UK, so the CIA scared the crap out of her by picking her up at her job, and then ransacking her apartment in front of her. The head of the London office, Christine, basically told her to get the hell out of dodge for a few days and to never darken Tom Quinn's doorstop ever again.

Wow, that sure beats nuisance calls or signing your ex-boyfriend up at various porn sites on the internet. Or getting hold of his credit card and charging hundreds of dollars, or calling up his new girlfriend pretending to be delivering the results from his STD test. Not that I've done any of that.

My way has all ways been to cry a lot, and to be incredibly reasonable when a guy breaks up with me. I think the most I ever did was just call up the guy afterward to let him know that I thought he was a shit, but that's about it.

It just goes to show you what extreme behavior some people are willing to indulge in when they've been hurt or pissed off. Thinking about this episode of MI-5, it made me wonder what a woman in the 19th century might have done if she was discarded by her lover. Would she have gone away quietly, or would she have tried to find some way to make her former lover pay? Beyond the usual trying to make his wife or bethrothed think the relationship was still on.

In Sidney Sheldon's The Other Side of Midnight, when Noelle discovers that she's been dumped by her American lover who promised to marry her, she waits until the child she is carrying can feel, and then causes herself to miscarry. Of course, the only person she ends up hurting is herself, since she can then no longer have children.

What is the most extreme thing you've ever heard of anyone doing after they've been dumped? Or what have you done after a guy has dumped you?

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Point of View

I've been thinking a lot about point of view the last few days as I struggled to finish the mystery novel I was reading. Part of the problem, besides the historical inaccuracies and the generally uninteresting mystery, was the point of view shifts that the author employed.

Most mystery novels are written in the point of view of whoever is investigating the mystery, whether from third person point of view or third person point of view. Occasionally, in novel, you might have sections narrated in third person from the point of view of the killer. Carole Nelson Douglas used this to effect in one of her Irene Adler mysteries. Part of the reason most mystery novelists stick to one point of view is that the reader knows just as much as the protagonist does about whodunnit. Clues are revealed to the reader as they are revealed to the detective.

Well, in this novel, the point of view jumped from the first person point of view of a young doctor interested in psychoanalysis (did I mention that Freud, Jung, and Abraham Brill were characters in the novel?), to the point of view of a whole host of other characters including a young police detective, a young victim of the killer (who turned out not to be a killer), Freud, Jung, another doctor who was minor in the story, the coroner, the Mayor of New York, the mother of the victim, and the wife of another character.

That would have been enough but at one point the author switched from giving us the Stanton Younger's thoughts in the first person to telling a scene from the third person point of view, but it was still Stanton Younger who's thought's we were privy too.

After awhile all the point of view shifts from first to third to all these different characters was driving me nuts. Personally I would have preferred it, if the author had stuck to either the first person point of view or third person. As it was, the mystery portion of the novel at certain times took a back seat to the struggle over whether or not psychoanalysis would ever get a foothold in this country, which was interesting but it kept stopping the story cold.

Since I've been writing my romance novella, I've very conscious of whose head I need to be in for a scene. One rule of thumb that I've always adhered to is who has the most at stake in the scene, hero or heroine? And written my scene accordingly.

Of course there are some writers who can head hop in the middle of a scene. Nora Roberts is quite brilliant at this, but not every writer is capable of pulling it off. That's why it's great to just do a scene from one character's point of view. And then if necessary, start the next scene, with the other character's reactions to what happened in that scene.

I think it takes a lot of experience to jump back and forth between first and third person in a novel, and this writer just didn't have the skill to pull it off.


Friday, August 24, 2007

Things I just don't understand

I'm not a huge Paris Hilton fan, but seriously, do people in the judicial system in LA hate Paris Hilton or what? Nicole Ritchie had her second DUI, and gets 82 minutes in jail (apparently the jail was overcrowded), and Lindsay Lohan, who is in rehab for the third time, gets 1 day for her second DUI. The girl had cocaine on her, twice! And she was charged with 7 misdemeanors.

Meanwhile Paris drives with a suspended license and gets 3 weeks in jail. Is it because Lindsay and Nicole pled guilty and took a plea bargain and Paris didn't?

I was feeling kind of sorry for Paris, until I got a look at her new clothing line. Seriously, she should be arrested by the fashion police for crimes against the general public for trying to foist this crap as designer clothing. I've seen better stuff by Massimo at Target.

There's some fugly yellow satin number, a hideous silver coat that no one in the 60's would have worn, and some other god awful stuff that for someone reason Kitson is actually selling. But this piece took the cake:

Would you want to have this on your chest?
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Heart Ted Allen!

This is my new boyfriend Ted Allen. Now I know what you're thinking, Ted doesn't play for my team. No matter, he's my new gay boyfriend. Every woman should have one, Kathy Griffin has several. I want Ted Allen to be mine (no offense, Chip, you know I still love you!).

Oh, Ted, you were the diamond of the Queer Eye Guys, the one that shined the brightest. No matter how silly Jai or Carson got, you still kept things moving along. I bought my first bottle of Chateau St. Michelle Reisling because of you, a wine I still drink today.

I had the good fortune of meeting you three years ago in London just after my birthday (it was a big one) at the Century Club on Shaftesbury Avenue. You were so polite even after I helped myself to the rest of your glass of champagne just before you were leaving. My only regret is that I didn't keep that glass and sell it on Ebay. I could have made a good sum of money. Not as much as the Barry Bonds baseball will fetch or the piece of French Toast that Justin Timberlake took a bite out of, plus close.

How I long to be invited to a dinner party at your house in Brooklyn, where you cook a lovely meal with a great entree for us non-meat eaters to enjoy. And now you're on Top Chef when Gail Simmons is not available. Thanks to the good people at Blogging Top Chef who circulated a petition to bring you back after your successful earlier appearances on the show. Plus you have a show on wine on PBS.

It's a veritable Ted Allen mania!

Oh, Ted, you complete me.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tagging myself!

You know you have nothing to say when you're borrowing memes from other people's blogs!

So here are the rules for this meme:

1. You have to post these rules before you give the facts.

2. Players, you must list one fact that is somehow relevant to your life for each letter of their middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use the middle name you would have liked to have had.

3. When you are tagged you need to write your own blog post containing your own middle name game facts.

4. At the end of your blog post, you need to choose one person for each letter of your middle name to tag. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Kick-ass Legs

Okay, now I'm stuck because I know no one blogging whose name's begin with either E, R, or I!

So I'm tagging Kelly, Megan, Patt, Maureen, and Gabrielle!

At least their names contain the letters in my middle name!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Attack of the killer tags!

Recently I sent the first three chapters of my novella to a friend that I trust to critique it for me. I've been very high on this manuscript since I started it. Even though it's been awhile since I've written a romance, I thought that my little novella was just brimming with sexual tension and conflict between my hero and heroine.

Well all that is there, but also abundance of tags. You know those short one line descriptions that are supposed to be so skillfully tucked into dialogue and laced throughout the narrative that they usually escape notice? Not in my hands. My friend highlighted all my tags and to my chagrin, I had one page that was literally covered in them, and that was the first page! At one point in the manuscript, the whole page was blue with highlights. Instead of seamlessly weaving them into the dialogue, as I had thought, they stuck out like a sore thumb.

For example, instead of just ending the dialogue with Rebekah said, I had:

"But why Dylan Fraser, and why now," she asked, leaning forward in her chair.

And then before that, I had my other two characters in the scene doing the same thing. They would say a line, and I would have an action at the same time. One character was popping Nicorette gum, after his line of dialogue. Or a plethora of adverbs, i.e. awkwardly, quietly, subtly. Things that were actually conveyed in the diaglogue, but I felt the need to telegraph it as well.

"Contract is on its way to his agent as we speak," Ari said, a smile of satisifaction on his lips.

Instead I could have said:

"Contract is on its way to his agent as we speak," Ari said. There was a smile of satisfaction on his lips that made Rebekah uneasy, like a cat who had eaten an entire pound of caviar.

Or something like that.

I had no idea that I was doing this, even though I've gone through two drafts of the novella. Thank god, my friend spotted it before I sent it out. Since she told me, I've been very conscious in my revisions of checking myself. I've managed to eliminate the most egregious offenses in the rest of the manuscript. Now, I need to go back to my YA manuscripts and check those. Make sure that I eliminate most of the little buggers there too.

It's amazing how you can fall into a pattern of writing and not even see that you're doing it. That's why having a really good critique partner is so important, to call you not just on your plot holes but also on your little habits that might be getting in the way of your writing.

I will definitely be buying my friend a drink the next time I see her for saving not just me but my manuscript as well.

Thanks for reading,


(The picture of Patrick Stewart has nothing to do with my post. I just liked it!)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Old Acquaintances

I've always been fascinated by female friendships, and every book that I've written, my heroine has had at least one or two close female friends. But what really fascinates me is what keeps friends together and what drives them apart. Or "frenemies," those women who are in your life because they're good friends with one of your friends.

I went to see "Old Acquaintance" today at The Roundabout Theater here in New York. The play was written by John Van Druten, who also wrote "I Am a Camera" and premiered on Broadway back in the early 40's, and has been filmed twice. Once with Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins (really good movie) and again as Rich and Famous with Candice Bergen and Jacqueline Bisset (and a young Meg Ryan.)

It's interesting how the play depicts female friendships. Kit Markham and Millie Drake have been friends since they were girls in Harrisburg, PA. They are both writers, Millie writes what appears to be glitz and glamour novels, that sell like hotcakes. Think of Judith Krantz or Jackie Collins. And Kit writes literary fiction that wins critical raves but not much in terms of sales. Millie is divorced with a 19 year old daughter, while Kit has never married and has a lover who is ten years younger than her.

The conflict arises over Millie's daughter, Deirdre who worships Kit and has no use for her mother. Millie envies Kit for what she has, even though Millie's life is not that bad. She's rich and her novels are best sellers. But she longs for the kind of critical reception that Kit has and the relationship that she has with Deirdre. As the play goes on, we learn that Kit was once in love with Millie's husband Preston, but convinced him to stay in his marriage (there's a funny scene where Preston confesses all in an attempt to prove what a good friend Kit has been which backfires spectacularly. Only a man would think that.)

What's interesting about the play is what keeps Kit and Millie friends. Almost everyone in the play wants to know why Kit would stay friends with a woman whom it seems they treat like a joke. Kit brings up their shared history from their childhood on, and how they have a sort of shorthand that she doesn't have with anyone else.

Although the play is incredibly soapy and melodramatic, it resonated with me. How many of us have friends that we've known since we were six, that we may not see all that often, but when we do, it's like there's 30 years of history in the room. Friendships between women are powerful things and when they end, it's like breaking up with a boyfriend. In some ways, it's evne worse, because you share things with your girlfriends in a way that you don't with the men in your lives.

Watching Kit and Millie tear in to each other, (Millie reveals that she nows about Preston and Kit, accusing her of having had an affair with him for years, and Kit accuses her of not knowing how to be a friend) releasing years of resentment, I had flashbacks to friends that I've had in my life. Just recently, I ended a friendship with someone who tore into me for what she perceived as my failings as a friend, because she didn't feel that I had been there for her. In that one instant, the past several years of friendship, all the times that I had been there for her, seemed to mean nothing compared to this one occasion. She simply trashed the relationship despite my apology.

One of the most telling moments in the play for me, and one that the playwright seemed to gloss over after bringing it up, was when Kit talked about her relationship with Deirdre, and how she resolved from the time she was born to make Deirdre love her. I'm not sure if that came out of her love for Preston but it explained so much. I would have loved to seen her admit to Millie that in a certain way, she wanted Deirdre to love her more than her own mother.

There was also the question of professional jealously. Despite Kit's closet disdain for Millie's novels, you know she longs to have both the critical acclaim and the money, while it kills Millie that her books may sell, but a highbrow publisher like Mallory won't touch her with a ten foot pole. How many of us have had a little schadenfreude when we've seen friends sell before us, or read books that we feel aren't as well written as ours, but they've been published? But there was no for people to vent on.

In the end, the two friends make up in that way that friends do, where you just sort of sweep the unpleasantness under the rug, and you go on, because not having them in your life would be worse, than having them. In the back of my mind, I wondered if Millie would ever really be able to forgive Kit for falling in love with her husband. That seems to be the kind of thing that usually ends a friendship (I once had a friend end our friendship just on the suspicion that I wanted her ex-boyfriend. I didn't.).

Or maybe Kit and Millie realize that in the long run, men may come and men may go, but a true friend (someone who will lovingly criticize your manuscript and make it better, who loves you for better and for worse) is more important.


Friday, August 17, 2007

Astor Place Riots

I've been attempting to read this historical mystery for weeks now, and it's been very hard to get into because of the shifting points of view from third person to first, but the other day I almost threw the book across the room when the author sketchily and inacurrately described the Astor Place Riots that took place in New York in 1849. The main character is supposed to be a Shakespeare buff, so he should know more details than he gives.

This is the second time that someone has gotten the details wrong. I once took a walking tour of the Bowery and got into an argument with the tour guide when he wrongly described what went on that night. He got all huffy and went on about studying for his PhD in history at Columbia. Well, I had 3 years of theater history in college, and as I reminded him there was currently an exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York on the riots. Not to mention a very fine play called Two Shakespearean Actors by Richard Nelson.

So what were the Astor Place Riots? And why is the event in history so significant? The Astor Place Riots was not just about the rivalry between two famous actors of the era, Edwin Forrest and William Charles Macready. It was also American vs. English, middle class vs. the Upper Classes. It was one of the deadliest civil disturbances pitting the poor against the upper classes in the United States until the Draft Riots in 1863 (also in New York).

A little background on the rivalry between Macready and Edwin Forrest. Forrest was born in Philadelphia in 1802, and was the first American superstar as it were in the theater. He acted with Edmund Kean who was a huge English theater star of the time. Forrest was noted for his muscular frame and impassioned delivery which was considered suitably "American" by his fans.

He acted at the Princess's theatre in London were he met with great success, but when he attempted Macbeth, a character that seemed unsuited to style of acting, the audience hissed the performance. Forrest attributed the hissing to the professional jealousy and machinations of Macready, although Macready had been kind and helpful to him when he first to London.

A few weeks later, Macready was playing Hamlet in Edinburgh. Forrest, who was attending the performance, stood up in a private box and hissed at him (not very mature!). This act evoked contemptuous reproaches from the British press and destroyed the respect he had garnered on his trip. An acrimonious letter that he printed in the " Times" aggravated, instead of justifying, his offence.

A portion of the American public believed that national jealousy and professional intrigue had interfered with the success of their favorite tragedian in England.

In May of 1849, William Charles Macready arrived in New York to perform Macbeth at the Astor Place Opera house, which was the Opera house for the middle class and rich as opposed to the Bowery Opera House down the block, which catered mostly to a working class audience, and whose lead actor was of course, who else, Edwin Forrest. In fact, the Astor Place Opera House had been built specifically so that the wealthier citizens of New York didn't have to mingl with people they felt were beneath them. The new theater had high ticket prices (the better to keep the hoi polloi out), and a dress code.

To fan the flames, the Bowery theater decided to offer Edwin Forrest playing Macbeth on the same nights as Macready. Macready seemed to be a symbol to the working people and the Irish immigrants of everything that they hated. He was English and a snob, two things guaranteed not to get him a warm reception from anyone apart from the upper classes who were anglophiles despite our independence from the motherland.

On May 7, 1849, an unruly mob hissed and interrupted the Macready's performance including pelting the poor actor with rotten eggs, potatoes, old shoes and a bottle of liquid which may have been something called asafetida, which stank. Macready, being a trooper, finished the performance, but had to be persuaded to finish the rest of the run. He was promised that order would be maintained. The only way to keep that promise was to call out the militia and the calvary. On May 10th, he took the stage again.

That day, over 20,000 people apparently filled the streets around the theater after working class and Irish leaders called for a protest demonstration saying the performance and the troops that were sent to protect Macready represented "English aristocracy" trying to oppress the "people." As the performance began, a crowd of 10,000 which included native and Irish gangs like the Bowery Boys and the Dead Rabbits (In Gangs of New York they walked around with dead rabbits on sticks when they fought) threw stones through the windows.

The New York Tribune reported, "As one window after another As one window after another cracked, the pieces of bricks and paving stones rattled in on the terraces and lobbies, the confusion increased, till the Opera House resembled a fortress besieged by an invading army rather than a place meant for the peaceful amusement of civilized community."

The police force couldn't stop the rioters so the National Guard from the Seventh Regiment, was called in. Most of the rioters didn't disperse even as the soldiers assumed the firing position. To the surprise of many, even among the soldiers, the order was quickly given to fire directly into the crowd, leaving 22 dead and another 38 injured. The next day a protest crowd circulated a petition calling for revenge against the soldiers who had fired, but cooler heads managed to prevail, and the worst was over.

As for our two protagonists, Macready went back to England and retired two years later in 1851. He later died in 1873. He left behind a widow and 3 children. Forrest weathered a scandal when he divorced his wife in 1852 which hurt his reputation, but he continued to perform until his retirement in 1871. In his later years, he lobbied for the rights of smaller theaters against the monopoly of powerful conglomerated theater companies. He also used his considerable wealth to create an home for retired actors called the Forrest Home which lasted for over 100 years until it was eventuallly incorporated into the much larger Actors Fund facility in New Jersey. He's one of the few actors besides the other Edwin (Booth) who are still remembered today.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Thursday Real Estate Porn

This week's Real Estate Porn is Midford Castle in Somerset near Bath. It was built by a man named Henry Disney Roebuck in 1775 in the shape of the Ace of Clubs. Legend has it that he chose that shape because he won a fortune at the gaming tables with the Ace of Clubs. But the truth is that Mr. Roebuck was a wealthy romantic who chose the plan and design of the building chiefly for aesthetic reasons, based on a contemporary plan of John Cater, a gothic enthusiast.

It's a Grade I listed castle whatever that means. It comes with 59 acres of parkland, grassland and woodland. It also boasts an orangery, two cottages, and a ruined chapel. It was on sale for a cool 5 MM (around $10MM) pounds until one Nicolas Coppola Cage bought it recently for 4.5MM pounds. Yes, that Nicolas Cage, star of Ghost Rider and National Treasure, the man who named his son after Superman. Who used to be a good actor back in the days when he made Leaving Las Vegas.

Apparently, he has 14 homes worth at least $66MM including a 28 room fortress that he bought in Bavaria called Castle Neidstein in Germany. I have no idea why, although he's said that he would like move a castle brick by brick across the pond. Hopefully he'll change his mind about that. It would be like when they moved the old London Bridge over to Arizona.

It must be nice to own a historic castle, but I'm unlikely to ever know that unless I win Megamillions. Although I would adore staying in one.


Wednesday Funny

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

What will they think of next?

So I have a subscription to British Heritage magazine, and I'm flipping through the pages, when what do I see? An article on Dickens World! Yes, this past May, an "innovative and exciting 62MM pound indoor visitor complex" was opened in Kent, England, themed around the life, work and times of Charles Dickens.

I haven't been there so I have no idea what it's like, but the website has video where you can see the place being built. Apparently, it features Europe's largest themed boat ride which transports visitors from the depths of London's sewers through the atmospheric streets, courtyeards, marekts and shops, to a magical flight across the roof tops of London. There's also a haunted house, where the ghosts from The Christmas Carol will haunt, and children can playi in Fagin's Den.

I'm not sure how I feel about a Dickens theme park. It seems somehow cheesy and tacky. But again I haven't seen it. It could turn out to be something like Colonial Williamsburg or more along the lines of England land, and France land at Epcot.

Would anyone visit say Fenimore Cooper World? or Louisa May Alcott World?


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Capturing the Friedmans

I saw this movie over a week ago, and it's taken me this long to digest it in order to blog about it. It's a powerful film and one that is not easy to summarize. It was the third documentary in a summer series called "Crazy Love," at the Philoctetes Center here in New York. The other films were Sherman's March, and Grey Gardens.

Capturing the Friedman was directed by Andrew Jarecki who made millions from his creation of Moviefone. The background to the film is that he'd heard about this clown that was pretty popular in New York with birthday parties and he wanted to find out I guess what makes a person choose a career as a clown.

It turned out that the clown was a man by the name of David Friedman. As Andrew Jarecki started working on the film, he learned that David Friedman's father and brother had been accused of multiple counts of child molestation on Long Island in the late 1980's. Instead of focusing the film on David Friedman, Andrew decided to make the story of the Friedman's the focus of his movie.

He was aided by the fact that David Friedman and his brothers had taken copious 8MM films during their childhood. David Friedman has also filmed the family during the time that the Arnold Friedman and the youngest son, Jesse were accused and awaited trial.

I can't tell you how painful this movie was too watch. Just listening to the contradictory stories from the police, the family, some of the kids who were part of the computer classes that Arnold Friedman ran out of his home who claimed that no abuse took place, to the kids (now adults) who claimed that they were sexually abused, was harsh.

The simple facts of the case are this, Arnold Friedman was receiving child pornography from the Netherlands in the mail, which raised a red flag. After he was arrested for having child pornography, the police automatically made the assumption that since he was teaching kids, he must be molesting them. From there, Arnold's son Jesse, who helped out with the classes, and another teenager were accused of sexually abusing minors.

Here's where it gets fuzzy. Several of the children were clearly coerced into their testimonies, the other defendant was given the option of testifying against the Friedman's or going to jail for 50 years, and the stories of the children who claimed to be sexually abused, didn't match the stories of other students who were in the classes at the same time. Also, Arnold Friedman had also given piano lessons for years in his home, but none of those kids ever came forward as adults when the case made headlines to claim that they were abused. Of course, there could be a reason for that. The shame at having a trusted teacher molest you, not wanting even after several years to come forward.

The video footage that David Friedman took of his family during the time they were awaiting the trial is stomach churning, particularly the way the sons treat their mother, almost as if she were the enemy. The truth was that their mother, once she knew her husband had been looking at child pornography, had a hard time defending him. The sons wholeheartedly believed their father was innocent, and took her actions as a betrayal. But it was clear that this family was seriously dysfunctional.

At times, it almost seemed as if the footage had been staged, it was so theatrical. Both father and son eventually pleaded guilty for different reasons. Once Arnold Friedman admitted that he was a pedophile (although he claimed he had never touched his students), the chances of him being acquitted were slim. He eventually died in prison, and there is reason to believe that he committed suicide. He left an insurance policy to Jesse Friedman, probably so that Jesse would have money to mount an appeal once he got out of prison.

Jesse served 13 years, and now he claims that he only pled guilty on the advice of his attorney, and he wants his conviction appealed, for I guess getting bad advice. The middle son Seth didn't participate in the documentary, having basically fled the family to make a life for himself out West.

What's interesting about the documentary is that Andrew Jarecki doesn't take sides one way or the other during the film. He just lets the story unfold so that the audience can make up their own minds whether or not they believe in the Friedmans' innocence for which he's gotten a certain amount of flack.

I actually found it refreshing that he didn't take the Michael Moore approach, basically hammering the viewer over the head with his viewpoint. Still, the cops, the DA, and the judge in the trial feel that they have been misrepresented in the film, because Jarecki does raise questions about the way evidence was collected, and whether or not the children were led into confessing.

The DVD has more footage and extras that I haven't yet seen, but I kind of want to, although I'm not sure that I can sit through the movie again. I feel for Arnold Friedman's wife, learning that the man that you've been married to for over 20 years is a pedophile couldn't have been easy. What the film did do was let the viewer know that pedophiles aren't necessarily men in raincoats who hang around playgrounds. I remember when the movie Happiness came out, people were upset because the pedophile in that film seemed on the surface to be an ordinary suburban husband and dad. He wasn't a weird creep like the Jackie Earle Hailey character in Little Children.

That movie and this documentary just goes to show that everyone is not always what they seem on the surface. And who do you believe? Children who may have been led into confessing to something that didn't happen, or a man who is an admitted pedophile?


Friday, August 10, 2007

Thank God It's Friday

Lot's of talk on the blogs about "Becoming Jane." So I thought I'd throw up a picture Mr. James McAvoy who plays Tom Lefroy. Unfortunately, he looks about 15 in this picture.
The weather is back to being lousy today, so I stayed in doors and actually got some work done on the novella. I hope to work on part of the love scene this weekend, before I submit it to the Brava Novella contest.
I'm really excited about entering. Since it's been a long time since I've written a romance, I've really taken my time with it, making sure that the motivations are clear, and that I build the relationship between the two main characters that's believable.
I've managed to cut about 20 pages out of the novella, anything extraneous had to go, which meant lots of interior monologues bit the dust. It's nice to know that I can actually write something in 85 pages. My writing is getting tighter with every book.
Once the novella is done, it's back to the next YA that I have in the pipeline, and possibly outlining another romance idea I had.
Tomorrow off to the beach for a spell since it's supposed to go back to being hot and steamy here in New York.
Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Unbecoming Jane

LOL! You have to read this! Even if you haven't seen the movie, but especially if you have!

The Most Awesome Dress Ever!

Oh my GAWD, is this not the most awesome dress ever? I have a love affair with cherries. I not only love to eat them (both black and rainier bing cherries), but I love any print that has cherries on them. Right now I have two pairs of flip-flops that have a cherry print.
So imagine by surprise when I just by chance plugged in 'dresses with cherries' into yahoo and up popped this gorgeous dress on Ebay.
They are custom made by a 26 year old you lives in Baltimore. Yes, custom made. You buy the dress and give your measurements, and she sends you the dress. And it is not expensive either. This dress retails for about $120.
Throw on a sweater, some strappy high heeled sandals and you are ready to go. Finding this dress totally makes up for the fact that the train stopped running this morning because of the monsoon we had here in New York. I had to pile on a bus which meant that I was 45 minutes late for work this morning.
Fortunately every one at work had the same problems, and since I live all the way uptown, I had no choice but to either take the bus or go home. Frankly, I was all for the going home option, but I soldiered, and I'm so glad that I did.
Pretty dress, come to mama!

Monday, August 06, 2007

I Heart Anthony Bourdain!

I had planned on focusing my blog this week on writing, but I'm kind of still upset today about a certain matter, and I'm torn about whether or not I should blog about it. It concerns author etiquette. So in the meantime I thought I would blog about something that makes me happy and that's Anthony Bourdain. Although I don't watch his show on the Travel Channel "No Reservations" since my freind Marley told me that he stalked and barbecued a zebra on a recent episode.

Ah Chef Bourdain, even though you despise vegetarians or vegequarians like myself, I still can't quit you. Your funny and slightly nasty blog posts on Bravo TV in place of Tom Colicchio the past few weeks has made my day. I particularly loved your recent blog on Rocco DiSpirito and the recent frozen food challenge. Even though I disagree totally with your disdain for the challenge, I did love your comments about the contestants and the big lug Rocco himself.

I hope they bring you back as a guest judge, and I think that they should give you your own blog on Who needs to hear from Marcel or Sam for that matter (Just kidding Sam, I still love you)? Your wealth of experience and knowledge should be shared with as many people as possible.

You are a man who is not afraid to speak his mind, but you are also intelligent, and funny as heck. And you've traveled enough and have such a vast food knowledge that it's hard to argue with you, although when Howie threw your own words back at you, you were man enough not to pound him. You are a man who is passionate about food, so I've even forgiven you for dating Page Six columnist Paula Froelich. Clearly even a great man like yourself can make mistakes.

Ah Chef Bourdain, I would love to cook a delicious vegetarian meal for you so that you would see that vegetarian food doesn't mean bland or boring. Or check out the Green Zebra in Chicago if you don't believe me.

Anyway, you are still tops with me, and my number 1 dinner guest at my fantasy dinner party.


Friday, August 03, 2007

Summer of Love

So I went to the Whitney Museum to see their Summer of Love art exhibition which turned out to be somewhat interesting, but it made me glad that I had gotten in for free using my corporate ID. The exhibition came from the Tate Liverpool in England, and while the idea was great, the concept was lacking in terms of putting it in context with what was going on in the wider world. The best thing about the whole exhibit was the audio music tape that was free with your ticket. I got to hear a lot of great music that I knew and a lot that I didn't.

What does this have to with relationships (the theme of this week?). Well, it started me thinking about this book that I had read in high school that came out in the early 60's, called The Harrad Experiment by Robert Rimmer. It's about a college where all the students learn about sexuality and free love. I had seen the movie on HBO (starring a very young Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith, in fact it's the movie where they first met and fell in love), and was curious to read the book.

The man who wrote the book, Robert Rimmer, wrote it as a criticism of the assumption of monogamy as a societal norm. All the characters in his books discover that they're much happier in arrangements such as the one on "Big Love" or "polyamorous" relationships. At first it sounds all warm and fuzzy, this idea of 'free love' but of course it doesn't take into account human emotions, and the fact that people have a tendency to get attached, even when they're trying not too.

Personally I think it's bunk. Not that it probably doesn't work for some people, but it would never work for me. I was never good as a child at sharing my toys, and I would definitely never be good at sharing a man with not just one woman, but a bunch of them. I sucked at even dating more than one person at a time.

And I definitely get attached to people, to places, to things. I'm the worst person in the world to ever be in harem or in a commune. Unless, I'm running things like being the chief wife (the Kadin) or the head of the commune.

I remember watching a nature special on lions, where the poor male lion had to service entire pride of female lions, to the point that the poor thing looked like he needed the animal version of Viagra. In the end, I just think it sounds like a lot more work than just dealing with two people in a relationship.

I think that's why I read romance, because it's about the journey of one man, and one woman towards finding love and a relationship that's fulfiling. Not that it's going to be one happy long yellow brick road of happiness. The conflict doesn't end just because the hero and heroine declare their love and their desire to be together. We know when we put down the book that there will be bumps in the road ahead, but we believe in the power of their love (to quote the only Celine Dion song that I like) to overcome whatever obstacles might come into their path.

Thanks for reading,


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Things that Make Me Happy #1

Buffy Season Eight #5 is here. Yeah!

How to Seduce a Scorpio

It looks like I might actually be having something resembling a date tomorrow night with a guy that I've been emailing through Yahoo! Personals. So with that in mind, and just in case any hot guys reading this blog want to know, here are some sure fire ways if you want to score with a gorgeous Scorpio chick with amazing legs who looks really pretty today in her white flowered skirt, tight black low-cut sweater, and pearls (and extremely hot shoes!). A combination of the demure and the dominatrix!

P.S. I scammed these from an astrology book that I have in my library. They're incredibly funny. I don't think these have ever actually worked on me, but hey give it a try!


  • Look sexy at all times, but not in a glaringly obvious way (um, what does this mean exactly?)
  • Keep your body in good shape (but you don't have to be sick about it, otherwise you'll give me a complex)
  • Just happen to have a water bed being delivered next week (I hate water beds)
  • Learn to be a night person - Scorpio comes even more alive then (okay this one is totally true. I was always up for going out drinking after performing, often until the wee hours of the morning which was hell when you had to be at work at 8 a.m.)
  • Keep Mr. or Ms. Scorpio guessing all the time - curiousity might have killed the cat but it kindles Scorpio's interest (well this one is true as well, I do like a mystery, and since I've been called an engima myself, of course I would be intrigued by someone who isn't an open book)
  • Start practising telepathy and astound your Scorpio with your psychic impressions of their personality (now this one depends. If you're obnoxious about it, I'm going to cut you down to size. Of course it would help if I didn't have to explain everything all the time, my man just knew).
  • Practise the smoldering eye routine yourself so you can have fun outstaring each other.


  • Ever show you could be a jealous lover (okay, a little jealously is fine, it's when it becomes psychotic, I'm talking you Paolo on Footballer's Wives, than it becomes a problem)
  • Be too intense or dramatic - this only allowed if you're another Scorpio (there can only be one drama Queen in this relationship and it's me)
  • Fight this sign - it's the most invincible of all. (You'll never win. I can out argue, and out stubborn anyone)
  • Ever question Scorpio's loyalty - you'll soon learn how strong it is. (I'm loyal to the point of stupidity, need help, a baby sitter, a kidney? I'm your girl)
  • Get yourself involved unless you're unafraid of passion, power, and possibly intrique too (No wimps need apply!)
  • Ever forget Scorpio has a need for privacy at times (translation, I need my own bathroom)

Those are all great, but if you really want to know what works? Dark chocolate and lots of it (I prefer Leonidas or Neuchatel, Godiva only in a pinch), champagne (Veuve Cliquot, or Perrier Jouet Rose), and sushi. No roses unless you cut them straight from the garden. Foot rubs and massages are also appreciated further down the line. And shoes, lots of shoes, but more important, just treat me like the Queen that I am, and we'll get along fine!

Thanks for reading,


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Abby's Pop Meme

Oh my gawd, I cannot believe that Ivana Trump is getting married for the fourth time, and I'm having problems getting a date! What is wrong with this picture? Seriously, I'm sure that she's a very nice person, but she still did a reality TV show called "Ivana man." And the guy that she's marrying is 35! That's the same age as fun guy. This news made me so depressed that I almost emailed fun guy to see if he wanted to go for round 3 of our dysfunctional dating game. Fortunately, I went out and bought a apple multigrain donut from Starbucks and ate it and then I lay down until the feeling passed.

So on to Abby's Pop Meme. I've been tagged by Megan so here are the rules:

1. Go to this link at Pop Culture Madness (scroll down - see the list of years on the left?)

2. Pick the year you turned 18

3. Pick five songs from that year

4. Wax nostalgic about each song and why it’s special

5. Pass it on to 5 more friends

"Don't You Want Me" by Human League - I first heard this over the summer while I was in London and I bought the 45 while I was there (remember 45's?). I thought I was so sophisticated playing my new music from England, and I felt justified when it was a huge hit here in the States. Plus who can't relate to the song?

"Tainted Love" - Soft Cell - I love, love this song. In fact, I have it on my iPod. I used to play this all the time because it reminded me of my ex-boyfriend. I also remember dancing to it at the danceathon that we had at school to raise money for Vietnam Vets. We danced for 5 hours in the cafeteria. The rules were you had to dance even on your way to the bathroom. Once inside of course you could stop dancing, but once you were done, you had to start dancing again. This song was great, because you didn't have to move to much to it.

"We Got the Beat" - Still my favorite Go-Go's song. How can you not dance to this song? Another song that I have on my iPod. I loved the fact that they were an all girl band that played their own instruments, instead of just the chick who fronted the band. A guy I went to high school with thought their song "Our Lips are sealed" was really "I love Cecile."

"Rock this Town" - Stray Cats - Remember them? Before Brian Setzer became a new wave Big Band singer? I had no idea what rockabilly was when this song came out, I just knew that I could do the jive to it like my parents. Although I thought all 3 of them were too skinny and skanky to be believed.

"Maneater" - I used to have a crush on Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates (come on, the guy had great hair, like a golden retriever.) And I always wanted to be considered a woman that was a maneater. I have no idea why but being a femme fatale appealed to me (see Monday's post).

Okay, I am now tagging, Mary, Kelly, Gabrielle, Patt, and Carolyn.

Thanks for reading,